Shah Alam woman loses RM1.6 million to online love scam; trio arrested at nearby hotel

Photo: John Schnobrich/Unsplash
Photo: John Schnobrich/Unsplash

It’s a tale as old as (internet) time: A Shah Alam transportation company manager is RM1.6 million (US$388,000) out of pocket after falling victim to a love scam.

After meeting an American man via Facebook, a 62-year-old local woman forged a close relationship with him over the course of six months. During that time, the suspect asked the woman to assist him in recovering losses in several of his business endeavors. Several accounts belonging to the suspect were used in the transferring of the funds.

Eventually, the suspect told the victim that a friend of his named Calvin had been arrested by Malaysian customs officials with a large sum of money intended for him. He then asked the woman to help provide more money to release the seized money from the customs department.

Believing this to be true, the victim then met a man calling himself Calvin at a Kuala Lumpur hotel, agreeing to give him money to facilitate the release of the money. It was paid in several instalments.

Last week, the victim began to suspect that something was amiss, and contacted police to lodge a report against her American friend and Calvin.

Investigators tracked down three men linked to the case, aged between 34 and 36, at a Kuala Lumpur hotel three days after the report was filed. One of the suspects was from Ghana, while the other two were from Guinea.

Also seized in the raid were RM30,000 (US$7,500), a luxury car, a series of luxury watches, laptop, and mobile phone. Goods seized totaled more than RM200,000 (US$50,000).

Police are holding the trio in remand while they investigate the case.

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